NJEA’s smart tenure reform plan

Promotes excellent teaching - NJEA’s plan creates a residency year where first-year teachers receive intensive support.  It also strengthens early-career mentoring to ensure that new teachers get the support they need to become great teachers.

Makes tenure harder to earn – NJEA’s plan adds a fourth year of teaching before tenure is obtained, which gives new teachers longer to grow and develop, and gives districts an additional year to watch a teacher and decide whether to grant tenure status.

Streamlines the tenure removal process – NJEA’s plan moves tenure hearings out of the court system and puts them before neutral third-party arbitrators where they will be heard on an expedited basis.  Cases will be resolved more quickly, and at a lower cost. 

Protects due process – If a district wishes to remove a tenured teacher for poor performance, it simply has to demonstrate that the teacher is no longer effective and has been unable to improve.  Due process means the teacher has the right to try to prove that the district’s judgment is wrong.

Protects schools and teachers from political interference – Tenure for teachers was an important education reform when it was introduced in New Jersey over a century ago.  It is just as important today to ensure that patronage and politics are not allowed inside our classrooms.